Birth Control Safety and Side Effects


16 Worst Birth Control Mistakes

Bungling birth control is all too common. In fact, half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Yikes. To make sure you can count on your contraceptive, here are the potential pitfalls.   View slideshow

Birth Control Is Safer Than Ever (and Sometimes It's Even Good for You)

Times have changed since women going on birth control risked the pelvic infections of the Dalkon Shield or hormones dosed perilously high. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been redesigned to be very safe. The contraceptive sponge is almost risk free—though there are more effective ways to prevent pregnancy. Condoms are safe for everyone and are the only form of birth control that protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And the Pill is so safe and effective these days that it is available over-the-counter in some countries.  Read More

7 Common Birth Control Side Effects

Solutions for the most common problems
Hormone-based birth control often comes with side effects that can range from slightly annoying to bad enough to make you switch. You may not know what you can tolerate until you've given a couple of them a try. But here are some solutions for the most common problems.  Read More

Hormonal Birth Control Can Mess With Your Mood (and Possibly Your Sex Drive)

Many women don’t have any problems with hormonal birth control, but some do experience side effects. Those include headache, nausea, breast tenderness, or spotting between periods.  Read More

I Ditched Acne and a Libido Problem by Switching Birth Control

A marathon runner gets serious about side effects from the Pill
The Pill is a very effective form of birth control, but it's not without side effects, and sometimes patience is key. Just ask Andrea, 29, a public relations executive and marathon runner.  Read More


What You Need to Know About the Pill, IUDs, Condoms, and Other Birth Control

 Dr. Hilda Hutcherson
Dr. Hilda Hutcherson
clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center
Q: If I have sex without a condom and I'm not on birth control, what's the chance I'll get pregnant?

A: There's about a 20% chance that you'll get pregnant during any given monthly cycle. While that doesn't sound very likely, the percentage goes up if you continue to have sex without a condom. Read More